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You and your girls decide to make a day of shopping and hanging out. Fabulous. You are a size 16, another a size 12, and the third a size 10. The three of you divas fashionably sashay into one of the coolest department stores, ready to burn some well-earned cash.
As a self-professed fashionista, you naturally traipse over to the contemporary section, swooning over the latest designs by DVF, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Free People, Rebecca Taylor, and Cynthia Steffe. As the three of you start diving into these beautiful fashions, you realize, there are few, if any, sizes above a size 10/12.
Concerned, frustrated, and confused, you head over to the nearest sales associate asking about the size ranges in your favorite designers. To your dismay, the sales associate gives you a once over and empathetically shares that their sizes stop at a 12 and that you would have to either go to theMissy section, usually on another floor, or try the plus size section.
How to navigate plus size fashion as an Inbetweenie
Determined to find the coolest of cool for your curves, the three of you optimistically head down to this Missy section that you were referred to and find yourself immensely disappointed. Every item here is either extremely dated, lackluster in style, or just plain ugly. So, for the last ditch effort, you scour over their plus size section, as an Inbetweenie.
Interestingly enough, you find that there are some promising pieces by designers you are not aware of, noticing that their sizes start at a 14! Really? See, you have always bordered on this Too small for straight sizes, and not so quite plus size range. Nevertheless, you find that there are more and more designers who cater to this grey area of sizing.
What you will find now, is that as the straight sizes are stopping their ranges at a 12/14 or buyers are limiting the size ranges for their store, many more plus designers are extending their ranges to go as small as a size 10/12 to cater to this forgotten woman.
So what does this mean for the Inbetweenie? For plus size fashion? What determines plus size?
Many women swear plus size starts at an 18, modeling agencies throwing size 8’s at us, while designers define its start at a 16. With all this confusion and inconsistency, there is much to be interpreted in the lovely burgeoning world of plus size fashion- especially as fashion becomes more infused into plus size.
As plus size fashion evolves, so will its standards, but in the meantime, how do we, as plus size women learn to adjust to the multitude of definitions and non-defined standards.
We accept them.
But we do not stop there.
- We must improve upon the amalgamation of definitions and interpretations of what this is.
- We cannot size out the diva who is a 14, just because she is smaller, nor do we exclude fashion for the size 28.
- We must understand that what we know of plus size is no longer exact. As more and more fashion choices are becoming available, as buyers refuse to buy size 14s and designers retire the size 14 pattern, then we must accept that plus size, due to multiple circumstances, can start at as low as a 12/14.
- We must support the designers who bring to the table high fashion, innovative designs, impeccable taste, and flair to ensure they continue to push the envelope for plus size fashion.
- We must educate ourselves with this newfound plethora of fashion available, and not be afraid to dress out of the box.
- While it is so much easier to gripe about what we do not have in plus size fashion, we must celebrate and embrace those who are making moves now. We are not in the same position as we were ten years ago!
Through feedback, collaborations, and an open mind, plus size fashion has the potential to evolve into a more standardized, consistent, and clearly defined industry. While it will not happen overnight, understand designer choices ARE available, sizing WILL vary, prices MAY be higher as the quality IS improving.
Keeping you Curvy.Confident.Chic.!